3 Aug, 2022 16:22
UK's Corbyn urges West to stop arming Ukraine
The former Labour leader has warned that pouring weapons into the conflict will only prolong it
Jeremy Corbyn © Thierry Monasse / Getty Images
The West should stop arming Kiev forces as it will only serve to extend the ongoing conflict with Russia, former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn stated in a TV interview on Tuesday. He also criticized Western leaders for hardly ever talking about peace.
Speaking to Al Mayadeen, a Beirut-based TV channel, Corbyn said that “pouring arms in isn’t going to bring about a solution, it’s only going to prolong and exaggerate this war,” adding that “we might be in for years and years” of the conflict.
The politician said he found it “disappointing that hardly any of the world’s leaders use the word ‘peace’,” explaining that they only use “the language of more war and more bellicose war.”
Corbyn noted the disastrous consequences of the prolonged conflict for the people of Ukraine and Russia, as well as for the safety and security of the whole world, insisting that more effort should be put into reaching a peaceful resolution.
He urged the UN to be “much more center stage” and proposed involving other international bodies such as the African Union or the League of Arab States to help negotiate a ceasefire.
Corbyn was suspended from Labour Party membership in October 2020 after suggesting that accusations of anti-Semitism within his party were “overblown for political purposes.” He has since founded the Peace and Justice Project – a fund that focuses on environmentalism, international peace cooperation, poverty, social inequality, and corporate power.
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He is also one of the former chairs and current member of the Stop The War Coalition, a British advocacy group that opposes the conflict in Ukraine and calls for the crisis to be settled in a manner that respects both the Ukrainian people’s right to self-determination as well as Russia’s national security concerns. The coalition also demands that NATO halt its eastward expansion and refutes the idea that the organization is a defensive alliance.
In an open letter published shortly before Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February, the group also urged the British government to stop sending arms to Ukraine and troops to Eastern Europe as it served “no purpose other than inflaming tensions and indicating disdain for Russian concerns.”
Current Labour party leader Keir Starmer has criticized both Corbyn and the Stop The War Coalition, arguing that the group’s members are “naive” at best and “actively give succour to authoritarian leaders who directly threaten democracies” at worst. He has insisted that if Corbyn was ever to be readmitted to the Labour party, he would need to distance himself from the organization.